A retrospective assessment of Safety in Design (SiD) in existing buildings

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The concept of Safety in Design (SiD) is strongly influenced by the UK CDM Regulations and the drive to improve safety and health in the industry. Designers have a responsibility not only for design and build; but for use and maintenance by designing out any hazards at any of these phases. The impact that designers have on site safety is dependent on their skills, knowledge, experience and organisational capability to modify designs towards improving safety. This study reviewed the impact of SiD during use and maintenance of 12 existing public buildings in London by visually inspecting and adopting a scoring matrix for the design hazards. The inspection data acquired were evaluated using a design control-measure database with recommended alternative design decisions capable of improving safety. The findings suggest that buildings post-CDM 1994 incorporated better safety initiatives in the designs than buildings pre-CDM. In principle, 9 out of the 12 (75%) buildings inspected had good level of SiD implemented in the design e.g. the foyer. Eight (8) of the 12 buildings had safety-related issues with manhole chambers/access shafts located in busy access areas, damaged or uneven entrance to the buildings, external wall-window systems, working at height, slips and trips, location of plant rooms and SiD implementation in buildings pre and post-CDM regulations. This study contributes to the discussions around public building safety by demonstrating that the implementation of SiD in the overall design of the entire building significantly improves the safety of buildings rather than SiD in some specific areas of the building. The limitations of this study included restricted access to plant rooms and small sample size which inhibits the generalisation of the findings. Therefore, future studies would benefit from using larger sample sizes and prior permission from the building operators to gain unrestricted access to conduct inspections.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCIB W099 & TG59 International Web-Conference 2020
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2020


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